If you have not traveled internationally before here are some tips to get you started.
First...you need a passport. The current processing time is about four to six weeks and the cost is about $100. In an emergency passports can be issued in just days through expedited means. Keep in mind there are extra fees attached.
Some countries require a visa to visit. China, Russia, India and most of the Middle Eastern countries are some of those requiring visas. Check out the State Department's web site at www.travel.state.gov for info on visas and any travel advisories.
TSA is now suggesting three hours prior to departure to check in for international flights. They are also saying that if you are going to Israel, plan on at least five hours ahead of time.
And pack smart. Know what you can and cannot take on board with you. If you pay attention and heed the rules, check in can go much more smoothly.